Orillia councillors have voted in favour of a new bylaw that would regulate the city’s short-term rental market.
During Monday’s meeting, Orillia councillors approved Chapter 730 for short-term rentals, requiring all short-term operators to obtain an annual licence and capping the number of rentals allowed within the community.
Under the changes, all short-term rental owners will be required to pay an annual fee of $2,000, and only 150 short-term rentals will be allowed to operate at one time.
“Orillia Council has approved regulations for short-term rental accommodations that are meant to strike a balance between supporting our local tourism industry while ensuring responsible hosting, safe accommodations and the livability of our neighbourhoods,” Mayor Don McIsaac said.
“We heard from residents that short-term rentals were becoming an issue in Orillia, and I believe that this is an appropriate solution.”
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This new bylaw comes as the cost of the average one-bedroom apartment in the Simcoe County community continues to rise.
According to Zumper, an online rental website, in September, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Orillia, Ont., was $1,894, a seven per cent increase from the previous year.
Chapter 730 of the City of Orillia Municipal Code will also establish standards and requirements for short-term rental accommodations like fire safety regulations, noise control and adequate insurance coverage.
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Under the new bylaw, short-term rental accommodation providers will be required to collect the Municipal Accommodation Tax, which the city says will bring further funding to promote the local tourism industry.
The new bylaw will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and approved funding for compliance monitoring software and for hiring a full-time staff member to begin in October 2023 to build and administer the program and to enforce the new bylaw once in effect.
“Staff reviewed short-term rental accommodation regulations at numerous municipalities to learn what has worked best to help build our approach for implementation in Orillia,” said Shawn Crawford, director of legislative, building, parking and transit services.
“Once we have the appropriate staff member hired later this year, the city will be reaching out to short-term rental accommodation operators in Orillia to raise awareness about the regulations and requirement for licensing beginning in 2024.”
Until the new bylaw comes into effect, the city’s municipal law enforcement officers, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police, will continue to enforce the bylaws currently in place that regulate various issues related to short-term rental accommodations, such as noise, dogs at large, parking, garbage accumulation, and open-air burning.
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